THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
14 February 2011
Today the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, encouraged Australians to honour the more than 280,000 young men who were conscripted for military service between 1951 and 1972.
“Today is National Service Day, and every year, on the 14th of February we honour the role of the young men known as ‘Nashos’, who were called up in two different service schemes.
“In particular, we honour the more than 200 conscripts who gave their lives while serving Australia in Borneo and in Vietnam, in battles such as Long Tan and the Battle of Coral and Balmoral.
"National Servicemen were not volunteers, but when called on they performed their duties with courage and commitment," Mr Snowdon said.
In September last year, Australia formally recognised the contribution of national servicemen when the Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, dedicated the new National Service Memorial at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Some 4,000 former national servicemen and their families attended the opening of the memorial fountain. The Government contributed $250,000 towards the cost of the memorial and the dedication reception at Parliament House.
The National Servicemen’s Association of Australia conducts services in capital cities and regional centres on National Service Day, 14 February, or on the closest weekend to that date.
For information about national service, go to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media Centre at www.dva.gov.au and look for Media Backgrounders.
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999
Dept of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203